National Archives 30 Year Papers – July, 1981

The 30 year papers for 1981 are being released, and they include many documents covering the hunger strike. Here are some quick notes about file PREM/19/506, which covers the period of the early July offer.

Specifically, this is a quick sketch of pages 13-26 of the PDF, a telegram that comprehensively details the conversations the Mountain Climber/Brendan Duddy (referred to as “SOON”) had with the British Government, in which he was relaying messages from the Provisional IRA. This is the British Government’s notes of their negotiations with the Adams Committee.

The first thing it confirms is that Duddy’s notes were extremely accurate. The telegram detailing “Call No 8 – 0100-0117 6 July” reflects his recently released papers, where in paragraph 41 he relayed that “The Provisionals fully accept the position as stated by the Prisoners” – this sentence was underlined by a reader of the telegram for emphasis.

In Call No 7, 2300-2400, 5 July, paragraph 35, he describes the Provisionals as being extremely unhappy with what they called the “bully boy” tactics of the ICJP: “From an apparently enthusiastic position, SOON (Duddy) had been called into an angry and hostile meeting of the Provisionals almost verging on a complete breakdown. The Provisionals view of the situation is that the prisoners’ statement had been totally ignored by the ICJP”. The call goes onto describe what really seems as an attempt to muddy waters over the ICJP’s participation – in effect, to get the British to pressure the ICJP to back off – though it was delivered in a confused and ham-fisted way. It would also seem that the fact the hunger strikers were listening to the ICJP and that the prisoners had accepted the offer was rattling those doing the negotiating.

Another interesting thing is that the Provos wanted Adams and/or McGuinness to go in with Morrison to see the hunger strikers. When it was made clear that Adams and McGuinness were unacceptable, Ted Howell was then proposed. (paragraph 33, Call No 6, 1750-1817, 5 July)

The most interesting thing about this is the confirmation that the full Army Council was completely in the dark about the Mountain Climber negotiations and offer.

The first call, 2200-2312, 4 July, sets the scene in that regard:

Paragraph 4:

“…the timing of the release of the [prisoners’] statement had caught the Provisionals unaware. The senior members, and SOON claimed there were eight, were widely dispersed. Only Adams and O’Brady were readily available. They were regrouping and SOON’s Provisional contact had instructed him to stand by.”

Paragraph 6: “… secondly he stated that a meeting of the senior Provisionals had taken place on 28 June at which they considered realistic conditions for the ending of the hunger strike had been discussed.” (This was before the contact with the Mountain Climber/SOON was revived)

In Call No 2, 0230-0500, 5 July, paragraph 10: “SOON began by restating the Provisionals’ disorganised position. He pointed out that to take a decision of this magnitude required the presence of all 8 members. They would be unwilling to take any decision without a full complement.”

Was that a genuine position or a delaying tactic?

It is later that morning, during Call No 3, 1045-1125, 5 July, the fact that the full Army Council were unaware of what was being done is made clear:

Paragraph 15:

“He then returned to the subject of the prison visit. He said that the number of senior Provisionals with a full grasp of the situation including knowledge of the SOON channel and the status to enable them to act authoritatively was very limited. He said that if the key to accepting any agreement was persuation [sic], education and knowledge, then that is not available outside the very upper echelons of the Provisional Movement. It is not even available as of right to the entire PSF leadership. He said this poses a problem. In response to our request for suggestions of Provisionals who would fit this description, SOON produced Morrison, Adams and McGuinness as the only three candidates.”

Paragraph 16:

“SOON (Duddy) then proceeded to offer the Provisionals’ view of the ICJP. He said that determination still existed not to let the ICJP act as mediator. As a consequence, there was a body of opinion within the Provisional leadership, which was unaware of the SOON channel and, therefore, took a destructive view towards any current proposals since they believed they would involve the ICJP.”

One other aspect of this important document is amazing. It describes the ending of the first hunger strike:

Call No 2, 0230-0550 5 July, Paragraph 13:

“He said that one of the major difficulties over the implementation of the agreement at the end of the last hunger strike had been the attitude of some of the prison officers. He said that the Provisionals believed that HMG had been sincere in trying to implement their side of the agreement. The breakdown had occurred because some of the prisoners had been harassed by some of the prison officers. He, therefore, requested that in HMG’s proposals should be included an instruction to the Governor of the prison to encourage flexibility in the implementation of any agreement.” (emphasis mine)

Owen Bowcott, writing in today’s Guardian, has Danny Morrison’s reaction to the papers:

[Morrison] told the Guardian the documents vindicated the IRA’s decisions at the time. “I find these documents very refreshing,” he said. “At least they have published what was happening. These conversations were recorded by Michael Oatley [the MI6 officer] or his secretary. We never got the final [British] position [before hunger striker] Joe O’Donnell died.”

Recall ‘it was not the content of the message which they had objected to but only its tone’:

“[…] As far as I remember the delay on that was actually getting final agreement to the text of what might be said, which was not easy, and in the event McDonnell died before that process could be completed and of course thereafter it collapsed.” – 1986 John Blelloch interview with author Padraig O’Malley

As Gerry Adams described in Before the Dawn, page 299:

“Very early one morning I and another member of our committee were in mid-discussion with the British in a living room in a house in Andersonstown when, all of a sudden, they cut the conversation, which we thought was quite strange. Then, later, when we turned on the first news broadcast of the morning, we heard that Joe McDonnell was dead. Obviously they had cut the conversation when they got the word. They had misjudged the timing of their negotiations, and Joe had died much earlier than they had anticipated.”

  • galloglaigh

    So Richard O’Rawe’s a liar… There’s a shock!

    Someone gave me a lend of his book and I never read it. I’m kinda glad now, cause all it is good for, is wiping your arse!

  • Jimmy Sands

    It’s the papers about the extraordinary behaviour of the McCreesh family that are the most shocking.

  • John Ó Néill

    Galloglaigh – I would think it more of a case that O’Rawe has a different take on events from what he saw. Turns out he wasn’t able to see the full picture. Hindsight is wonderful. A lot of 1981 stories doing the rounds today.

  • galloglaigh

    John

    You’re probably right – O’Rawe new nothing and thought he new everything. It’s a pity it took so long for his version to be rubbished. I wonder will he make a response? I haven’t seen nor heard anything today, other than a few articles online, but I will be listening to a Radio Foyle interview with Danny Morrison later this evening. It’s kinda sad that people like O’Rawe and McIntyre are spreading shit on walls, to discredit Sinn Fein. But sure that’s up to them.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    “It’s the papers about the extraordinary behaviour of the McCreesh family that are the most shocking.”

    The ALLEGED behaviour, that was denied at the time, these allegations are nothing new. The family, quite rightly, blamed the whole affair on sectarian elements in the prison service.

  • Dixie Elliott

    ‘There had been a contact which the British had activated. It became known as the Mountain Climber. Basically, I didn’t learn this until after the hunger strike ended.’

    Gerry Adams RTE 2006

    February 28 2005
    Bik McFarlane asked by UTV reporter Fearghal McKinney…

    “Who took the decision to reject that [Mountain Climber’s] offer?”

    Bik replied…

    “There was no offer of that description.”

    McKinney…“At all?”

    Bik…. “Whatsoever. No offer existed.”

    In 1994, Laurence McKeown in his book [Nor Meekly Serve My Time]. On page 236 he wrote of Gerry Adams having visited hunger striker Kieran Doherty on July 29 1981:

    “On their way out of his cell Doc’s parents met and spoke with Gerry, Bik and the others. They asked what the situation was and Gerry said he had just told all the stailceoirí, including Kieran, that there was no deal on the table from the Brits, no movement of any sort and if the stailc continued, Doc would most likely be dead within a few days. They just listened to this and nodded, more or less resigned to the fact that they would be watching their son die any day now.”

    Gerry Adams told all the stailceoirí [hunger strikers], including Kieran, that there was no deal on the table from the Brits no movement of any sort….

    Maybe those accusing Richard O’Rawe of being a liar could explain the above lies given that once again it has been proven that on July 5th 1981 that the Brits did indeed make an offer or at the very least a ‘movement of sorts’?

    Maybe they could explain why Adams denied knowing of the Mountain Climber on RTE following the publication of O’Rawe’s 1st book Blanketmen?

    Maybe they could explain why the Hunger Strikers were only informed of the ICJP negotiations and not of the Mountain Climber negotiations and what the Brits were offering through him?

  • Jimmy Sands

    The ALLEGED behaviour, that was denied at the time

    It would be wouldn’t it? Still it’s a rather vague denial and two identified members of the medical staff confirm he asked to be taken off before those vultures descended. Still it would be interesting to hear what they claim they did say.

  • J Kelly

    this must be avery disapointing day for Dixie, Rusty, Richard and co who were all waiting on the British archives to tell them what they thought they knew. There was no deal offered in early July 1981 reading the transcript of calls between duddy and london they were negotiating but the British wanted movement first and does anyone believe that the prisoners would have bought that one again. lets remember who killed the Hunger Strikers, Thatcher, who I hope lives for many more years

  • sonofstrongbow

    It’s laugh out loud funny that Republicans rely on the ‘enemy’s’ records to bolster their position, and I thought they only had the Brits write their ‘Army Council’s’ communiques.

    And let’s not forget that the hunger strikers killed themselves, aided and abetted by the ‘Movement’. Of course I’d rather they killed their own rather than the innocents who died outside the ‘wire’.

  • Jimmy Sands

    And let’s not forget that the hunger strikers killed themselves, aided and abetted by the ‘Movement’.

    With some strong encouragement from “loved ones” in at least one case it seems.

  • Dixie Elliott

    J Kelly

    Then explain the lies I posted above….

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    “It would be wouldn’t it?”

    It would of course given the inherent sectarian and violent nature of the unionist prison service.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Poor old Dixie the house of cards has crumbled in an unseemly and embarrassing heap. What now to flog around the blogsphere?

  • Dixie Elliott

    Pat Mc Larnon

    I notice that you too can’t answer the above questions and like your fellow Adamsite you resort to s**t talking instead.

    However show me where the house of cards crumbled…etc
    If you can’t tell us how Adams claimed not to know of the Mountain Climber when he’s now admitting he was the go between?

    Ah the story’s changing again to suit isn’t it?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Dixie,

    O’Rawe has been caught out by the actual time line both he and the likes of you have thrown up as evidence to support your own variety of stirring and smearing.

    The foundation of Richard O’Rawe’s allegation, upon which his book stands or falls, is what exactly happened on Sunday July 5th when Danny Morrison visited the hunger strikers in the prison hospital and, separately, Bik McFarlane.

    In his book (pages 175-179) he claims that Morrison brought a message in from the British government, a message which amounted to a ‘deal’; that he confided the details of this ‘deal’ to Bik McFarlane who, upon his return to his cell that Sunday night, wrote down the details and sent it to O’Rawe.

    This is what O’Rawe says: “I tried to be calm as I sat on the mattress, reading and rereading Bik’s comm… In the comm that Bik sent me on his return from the prison hospital, during which he outlined the nature of the contact, he also presented me with a set of British proposals which had emanated from the Mountain Climber [i.e. London]. He asked me to give my opinion on what was on offer from the British. I was amazed at what they were offering.”

    Over four pages he then goes through in infinitesimal details the British government’s response to the prisoners’ five demands, and concludes: “My first reaction was one of astonishment. I read the comm that Bik had sent up over and over again in case I had got it wrong. What I was reading was astounding. It seemed that the underlying substance of our demands was being conceded to us.”

    However, with the publication of British papers from 1981 the British position which emerges is the position which Sinn Féin have been stating all along.

    At the time of Morrison’s visit to the prison on the afternoon of Sunday July 5th, 1981, the British government had yet to even formulate its position, never mind proposing ‘a deal’. This is the transcript of the fourth of eight telephone calls between Duddy’s home in Derry and his British contact over those few days. The call was made at 2pm that Sunday:

    “22. Soon [Duddy’s British codename] then indicated that McGuinness had just arrived. He said that time was of the essence and asked what the current HMG position was. We explained that it was important, before drafting any document for consultation by ministers, that we should possess the Provisionals’ views. Soon then undertook to seek clear views on their position, which would be relayed to us later after discussion in the light of Morrison’s visit.”

    “Before drafting any document”

    The Brits had not even sent a proposal through – and did not do so until Monday night!

    He house of cards has essentially collapsed.

  • Dixie Elliott

    http://leargas.blogs…hers-irish.html

    “These transcripts reveal that no offer was made to the prisoners on 5th July and that at the time of Danny Morrison’s visit to the prisoners on that day the British government had not formulated its position:”

    Another myth busted.

    – Gerry Adams”

    Ah but Gerry the others said different didn’t they?….

    Morrison said on Talk Back:

    ‘Morrison said that he explained to them [the hunger strikers] what was on offer’, adding ‘by the way, the offer that we were being offered through the Mountain Climber was a bigger and better offer than what the ICJP thought they had.’ He went on: ‘After I had seen the hunger strikers, we all agreed that this [the M/C offer] could be a resolution, but we wanted it guaranteed.’

    Morrison said:

    “It had been known for decades that the Republican Movement and the British were in contact in July 1981 during the hunger strike. As a result of that contact I went into the prison hospital on Sunday July 5th, and told Joe McDonnell, Kevin Lynch, Kieran Doherty, Tom McElwee, Micky Devine and Brendan McFarlane, the leader of the prisoners, seperately, that we were in contact and the details of what the British appeared to be offering in terms of the five demands.’

    Bik said:

    ‘The man from the outside [Danny Morrison] was allowed in to explain the Mountain Climber contacts and the offer the British had communicated.

    ‘After meeting Morrison, McFarlane met the hunger strikers. “We went through it [the offer] step by step,” he said. “The hunger strikers themselves said: OK the Brits are prepared to do business –possibly, but wht is detailed, or what has been outlined here isn’t enough to conclude trhe hunger strike.'”

    ‘And I said to Richard, this is amazing, this is a huge opportunity and I feel there’s the potential here [in the Mountain Climber offer] to end this.’ Bik McFarland to Barney Rowan 4 June 2009.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Now Pat after considering the above quotes go to page 27; the last page in the recent document…

    http://www.longkesh….2/HSArchive.pdf

    Hunger Strike: Message to be sent through channel

    The British Government is prepared if, only if, it would lead to an immediate end to the Hunger Strike and protest
    to issue a statement which would include the following points.

    [See document P27 for points]

    If we receive a satisfactory response to this proposal by 9.00am on Tuesday 7 July we shall be prepared to provide you with an advance text of the full statement.

    [For more see doc…]

    The Brits are saying that they would issue a statement if it would lead to an immediate end to the Hunger Strike and protest. Not after the end of the Hunger Strike and protest…

    Now Bik saw this as a huge opportunity etc so it was acceptable to him. Therefore why no response from Adams before the above mentioned date unless it was he alone who saw it as being ‘unsatisfactory’?

  • Jimmy Sands

    It would of course given the inherent sectarian and violent nature of the unionist prison service.

    Well it must be pretty bad if they’ve conspired with the medical staff to concoct a document which no-one would see for 30 years. That seems plausible to you does it?

  • Dixie Elliott

    If you read the above quotes you’ll see that Adams and company are spinning all over the place instead of the one direction and changing their stories to suit.

    From Bik’s “There was no offer of that description.”

    McKinney…“At all?”

    Bik…. “Whatsoever. No offer existed.”

    Then after Duddy confirmed he took an offer to McGuinness Bik stated…

    “And I said to Richard, this is amazing, this is a huge opportunity and I feel there’s the potential here [in the Mountain Climber offer] to end this.”

    Morrison said on Talk Back:

    ‘Morrison said that he explained to them [the hunger strikers] what was on offer’, adding ‘by the way, the offer that we were being offered through the Mountain Climber was a bigger and better offer than what the ICJP thought they had.’ He went on: ‘After I had seen the hunger strikers, we all agreed that this [the M/C offer] could be a resolution, but we wanted it guaranteed.’

    Now Adams is saying…

    “These transcripts reveal that no offer was made to the prisoners on 5th July and that at the time of Danny Morrison’s visit to the prisoners on that day the British government had not formulated its position:”

    Another myth busted.”

    Basically…There wasn’t an offer…There was one…There wasn’t!!

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Dixie,

    the simple fact remains that O’Rawe has been found out by these latest revelations. You and others had put great store on his account of the deal that “had” been brought into the prison by Danny Morrison. As stated, in his book pages 175 -179, he goes into great detail on this ‘deal’. It his account of events at that time.

    We now know, from call no 4, that the British had not even formulated their response while Danny Morrison was in the camp.

    It is stated here;

    “22. Soon [Duddy’s British codename] then indicated that McGuinness had just arrived. He said that time was of the essence and asked what the current HMG position was. We explained that it was important, before drafting any document for consultation by ministers, that we should possess the Provisionals’ views. Soon then undertook to seek clear views on their position, which would be relayed to us later after discussion in the light of Morrison’s visit.”

    Get that, it was only after Danny Morrison’s visit that the British were prepared to formulate their position.

    Are you now prepared to accept that the O’Rawe narrative. as set out in his book, is erroneous and has no basis ion fact?

  • Dixie Elliott

    Pat you seem blind for some reason to the points I put to you..Which is not surprising and you seem keen to push Adams ‘not formulating’ their response which contradicts the others as I said….

    Why was Morrison allowed into the prison if not to put across what the British were offering to the Hunger Strikers?

    Quote

    ‘Morrison said that he explained to them [the hunger strikers] what was on offer’, adding ‘by the way, the offer that we were being offered through the Mountain Climber was a bigger and better offer than what the ICJP thought they had.’ He went on: ‘After I had seen the hunger strikers, we all agreed that this [the M/C offer] could be a resolution, but we wanted it guaranteed.’

    Why did Bik say it was…

    “a huge opportunity and I feel there’s the potential here [in the Mountain Climber offer] to end this.”

    …If it was otherwise?

    Of course as I pointed out the Brits were waiting on a response from ‘PIRA’ to the offer Morrison says he explained to the Hunger Strikers before issuing a statement.

    You said…”Get that, it was only after Danny Morrison’s visit that the British were prepared to formulate their position. ”

    Adams play on words has contradicted Bik and Danny Pat and well you know it.

  • Dec

    ‘Well it must be pretty bad if they’ve conspired with the medical staff to concoct a document which no-one would see for 30 years. That seems plausible to you does it?’

    Jimmy

    Those exact allegations were made over 30 years ago and the NIO released a statement to the fact at the time. The majority of allegations came from a single prison officer not medical staff. Then and now, the McCreesh family vehemently denied the allegations.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Dixie,

    lets’s not throw too much mud about in an attempt to find a target. An attractive tactic for yourself having been exposed in your slavish following of the O’Rawe narrative.

    The O’Rawe account was of a ‘deal’ brought into the camp by Danny Morrison. We have established from the recently released papers, courtesy of call no 4, that the British were waiting on Danny Morrison to come out of the camp before they formulated their position.

    O’Rawe has been hopelessly exposed by the recent revelations.

  • Dixie Elliott

    What deal Pat? You are playing on words. An offer only becomes a deal when both sides agree…

    Danny said…

    ‘After I had seen the hunger strikers, we all agreed that this [the M/C offer] could be a resolution, but we wanted it guaranteed.’

    We wanted it guaranteed. Not it wasn’t enough!!

    Then you said: “We have established from the recently released papers, courtesy of call no 4, that the British were waiting on Danny Morrison to come out of the camp before they formulated their position.”

    But surely according to Danny and Bik what he explained to the Hunger Strikers only needed ‘a guarantee’?

    However…

    FOI Document 1: “Extract from a letter dated 8 July 1981 from 10 Downing Street to the Northern Ireland Office”

    “Your Secretary of State said that the message which the Prime Minister had approved the previous evening had been communicated to the PIRA. Their response indicated that they did not regard it as satisfactory and that they wanted a good deal more.”
    “That appeared to mark the end of the development, and we had made this clear to the PIRA during the afternoon.”

    “This had produced a very rapid reaction which suggested that it was not the content of the message which they had objected to but only its tone.”

    While the Hunger Strikers only needed a guarantee…”PIRA’s response indicated that they did not regard it as satisfactory and that they wanted a good deal more.”

    Note:[ Didn’t O’Rawe say that it was Adams who rejected the offer not the prisoners?]

    Meanwhile the guarantee the prisoners wanted…

    http://www.longkesh….2/HSArchive.pdf

    Hunger Strike: Message to be sent through channel

    The British Government is prepared if, only if, it would lead to an immediate end to the Hunger Strike and protest
    to issue a statement which would include the following points.

    [See document P27 for points]

    = The Guarantee….

    Pat you simply seem to be stuck with Adams recent contradiction of Bik and Morrison and can’t argue outside that. Anyone impartial would see that

  • Jimmy Sands

    Dec

    The majority of allegations came from a single prison officer not medical staff.

    The account of the conversation with his family does, not the claim that he asked to come off and that his wish was communicated to the family, which comes independently from two medical staff. And it has been denied in the vaguest possible terms.

    And while I understand the argument that the NIO may have invented the story as black propaganda, it doesn’t explain them going to the trouble of drafting this more detailed account which was not evidently intended for publication. You haven’t explained why the brits would go to the trouble of forging a document that they had no intention of showing anyone.

  • Rusty Nail

    Previous comments in this thread have claimed:
    “There was no deal offered in early July 1981 reading the transcript of calls between duddy and london they were negotiating but the British wanted movement first”

    “At the time of Morrison’s visit to the prison on the afternoon of Sunday July 5th, 1981, the British government had yet to even formulate its position, never mind proposing ‘a deal’.”

    “The Brits had not even sent a proposal through – and did not do so until Monday night!”

    “We now know, from call no 4, that the British had not even formulated their response while Danny Morrison was in the camp.”

    “Get that, it was only after Danny Morrison’s visit that the British were prepared to formulate their position.”

    “The O’Rawe account was of a ‘deal’ brought into the camp by Danny Morrison. We have established from the recently released papers, courtesy of call no 4, that the British were waiting on Danny Morrison to come out of the camp before they formulated their position.”

    For clarity’s sake, regarding the purpose of Danny Morrison’s specially arranged visit into the prison to see the hunger strikers and Bik McFarlane, please consult:

    Danny Morrison, writing in Daily Ireland in June, 2006 and again in An Phoblacht in April 2009; his timeline of events, about the 5th of July and his visit into the prison:

    5 July
    After exchanges, Mountain Climber’s offer (concessions in relation to aspects of the five demands) goes further than ICJP’s understanding of government position.
    Sinn Fein’s Danny Morrison secretly visits hunger strikers. Separately, he meets prison OC Brendan McFarlane, explains what Mountain Climber is offering should hunger strike be terminated.

    See also David Beresford’s Ten Men Dead, where the 5 July offer is described on pages 292-294:

    The channel had been reopened by the Foreign Office in the wake of the conciliatory 4 July statement by the prisoners, in which they had insisted that their five demands could be met without any departure from ‘principle’ on the Government’s part. The Mountain Climber had told Adams, through their middlemen, that provided it led to an immediate end to the hunger strike, the Government was prepared to issue a statement setting out agreed concessions.

    — The Foreign Office, in its first offer, had conceded the prisoners’ main demand of their own clothing – all of the prisoners in the north would get it, irrespective of the reason they were in jail, so that the Government could claim it was no recognition of any ‘special’ status.
    — Visits and other such privileges had been agreed: the protesting prisoners would have them all restored on the ending of the hunger strike. But the prisoners were sticking on work, association and the restoration of lost remission.
    — On work, the Foreign Office was prepared to fudge the issue, suggesting that the main prop would be domestic tasks, such as cleaning, laundry and kitchen duties, together with “constructive work” such as building a chapel in the prison – the proposal put forward by Cardinal O Fiaich to Roy Mason so many years before – making toys for charities and studying for the Open University, or other educational courses. The prisoners wanted self-education to be the main prop, while being prepared to do maintenance work.
    — The Foreign Office was offering nothing new on free association, arguing that the prisoners were already allowed to mix during leisure hours, in the evenings and at weekends, and that what they were demanding was ‘unsupervised’ association, which would create unacceptable security problems – paramilitary activities like those which went on in the Cages. The prisoners had retorted that they only wanted free association in the wings and that there was no requirement that control be restricted – they would not interfere with the supervisory duties of warders.
    — The Government had made a vague offer to restore a proportion of lost remission; the prisoners wanted it all back – for some men it meant an extra year or more in jail.

    The “current British position” discussed in the phone calls being referred to here by some could not be formulated until Morrison delivered his report on the response from the prisoners to what he was specially tasked to bring to the prison to ascertain.

    That is only a logical sequence of negotiating volleys. That in no way, obviously from the historical record we have provided by people like Danny Morrison himself, means that the British ‘had yet to even formulate a position’ on July 5th.

    To suggest anything of the sort is incredibly ridiculous, and to expect anyone to believe such nonsense is beyond wishful thinking at this stage.

  • Decimus

    Strange that Eamonn Phoenix appeared to be shoring up the Provo position on the news this evening. Did he do so without thinking the details through, or is there an agenda to not derail the Sinner version of history?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Dixie

    “What deal Pat?”

    What deal indeed? Was it not O’Rawe who told us there was a deal a narratve you dutifully accepted? The papers now reveal the British were waiting on Danny Morrison coming out of the camp before they formulated their response? So no deal was on offer. Suck it up.

    An argument formulated on minutes and precise details has now fallen down as the facts of the case have now emerged.

    SF vindicated, now who would have thought? Well only those who voted for it.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    A clear attempt is now emerging of moving away from what has emerged from the recent revelations. Ignore this rubbbish and stay as clear as we can from the actual events at that time.

    No British policy to be formulated unitl Danny Morrrison has emerged from the camp. How contemporary can you get?

  • Dixie Elliott

    Fuck me if Pat hasn’t lost the plot…

    “Suck it up.” He says while ignoring everything….Even the fact that others are reading what he’s saying.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Pat…Why did the Brits allow Danny Morrison into the camp?

    Why did he say…”‘After I had seen the hunger strikers, we all agreed that this [the M/C offer] could be a resolution, but we wanted it guaranteed.”

  • Dixie Elliott

    And where did this all get us Pat?

    PSF handing out Duke of Edinburgh Awards…

    Not worth one life my friend…Not one never mind ten brave men.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Dixie,

    you and Carrie sold yourselves on the O’Rawe narrative. Pages 175 – 179 were a crock. The O’Rawe book has fell down on the narrative you and others sought to build a campaign on. You lost, suck up and move on.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Ah but Pat you still won’t nor can’t answer my questions can you? Instead you revert to school yard childish retorts…

    “You lost, suck it up and move on..”

    Is the argument of, lets say, the primary school kid fighting during break time but not someone defending the leader of mainstream Republicanism…As they now like to be referred to.

    Honestly Pat if you don’t have a sensible argument then this is too important an issue to waste time replying to childishness…

  • Dec

    Jimmy

    The statement from the medical staff refers to McCreesh as ‘confused’, so confused in fact they summoned the family rather than accede to his supposed wishes. The family then spoke to him. We then have the ‘testimony’ of a single prison officer, which let’s face it, caused you to comment on this thread in the first place. This alleged latter incident, rather than be hidden in govt documents for 30 years, was leaked to the media in May 1981 while the hunger strike was ongoing. Join the dots.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Dixie,

    try and keep the toys in the pram. The narrative that you and others placed so much faith on has shown to be not true. It is quite instructive that the author of this thread has deliberately chosen to ignore phonecall number 4. It jusy doesn’t suit.

    I will re-print just for you;

    “22. Soon [Duddy’s British codename] then indicated that McGuinness had just arrived. He said that time was of the essence and asked what the current HMG position was. We explained that it was important, before drafting any document for consultation by ministers, that we should possess the Provisionals’ views. Soon then undertook to seek clear views on their position, which would be relayed to us later after discussion in the light of Morrison’s visit.”

    Have you read it now? The British weren’t drafting anything until Danny Morrison came out of the camp.

    That is the events of the time. You can try and obfuscate and throw up a lot of smoke and mirrors but the fact remains that the pillar you and others sought to build a campaign did not exist.

  • Dixie Elliott

    OK Pat we’ll look at phonecall no. 4…

    “We explained that it was important, before drafting any document for consultation by ministers, that we should possess the Provisionals’ views. Soon then undertook to seek clear views on their position, which would be relayed to us later after discussion in the light of Morrison’s visit.”

    Morrison’s words on the visit…

    ”‘After I had seen the hunger strikers, we all agreed that this [the M/C offer] could be a resolution, but we wanted it guaranteed.”

    Bik’s words on the visit…

    “a huge opportunity and I feel there’s the potential here [in the Mountain Climber offer] to end this.”

    Did you see that both Morrison and Bik refer to the word ‘offer’?

    What was Morrison doing in the prison if not outlining an offer from the Brits Pat? Sure thats their words..Not mine, not O’Rawe’s; but Danny and Bik’s words…

  • Jimmy Sands

    Dec,

    If we accept your implied admission that only the prison officer’s recall is disputed then we have a situation where a confused McCreesh makes two separate requests to live. His mother and two brothers are informed of this and go to see him. At the end of the visit the family gives the medical staff firm instructions that he be allowed to die. Shocking behaviour even without the officer’s evidence.

    As to the officer you still haven’t addressed the issue I raised. I understand the broad allegation was leaked at the time and may have been dismissed as propaganda. However we now have a document containing details of the visit not leaked at the time so again, why go to the trouble of forging a document that was never intended to be seen?

    I understand you don’t wish to believe the officer’s account. I’m curious as to what you believe the family did say to him during that visit?

  • Decimus

    Jimmy,

    It certainly wasn’t “Just say the word and we’ll take you off the hunger strike Raymond.” Or he would be seeing in the new year most probably with his grandchildren tonight.

  • Dixie Elliott

    From phonecall no. 4…

    [Soon =Duddy/Mountain Climber…]

    “22. Soon [Duddy’s British codename] then indicated that McGuinness had just arrived. He said that time was of the essence and asked what the current HMG position was.”

    Time was of the essence because Joe McDonnell was on the brink of death. Yet why was a lot of this precious time wasted on trying to remove the ICJP?

    They were talking to the NIO and didn’t even know about the Mountain Climber initiative until informed of it by Gerry Adams.

    In a comm to Adams dated 6th July Bik said of the ICJP “they just pushed their line and themselves as guarantors over any settlement.”

    They offered to act as guarantors over any settlement..

    On the same date Adams sent for the ICJP…
    Fr Crilly and Hugh Logue went to a safe house where Adams told them about the contact with the Mountain Climber and what the government had been offering and
    suggested they withdraw because the authorities were using the ICJP as an intelligence feed.

    According to Garret Fitzgerald…

    On July 7th..“At 8:30pm, however, Morrison and a companion had come without warning to the hotel where the commission had its base. Their attitude was threatening. Morrison said their contact had been put in jeopardy as a result of the commission revealing its existence at its meeting with Allison; the officials present with Allison had not known of the contact. Despite this onslaught the commission refused to keep Morrison informed of their actions.”

    Note: ‘Morrison said their contact had been put in jeopardy as a result of the commission revealing its existence at its meeting with Allison;’

    But it was Adams who revealed to the commission the existence of their contact the previous day as we saw above, therefore surely it was he who put the contact/Mountain Climber in jeopardy?

    Why go to all this bother to remove a group who didn’t even know that Adams was talking to Thatcher via a contact while they were talking to the NIO?

    Why waste the last precious hours of a mans life that could have been used thrashing out a settlement?

  • Jimmy Sands

    In other news, this is out of copyright tomorrow:

    —This race and this country and this life produced me—he said.—I shall express myself as I am.—

    —Try to be one of us—repeated Davin.—In heart you are an Irish man but your pride is too powerful.—

    —My ancestors threw off their language and took another—Stephen said.—They allowed a handful of foreigners to subject them. Do you fancy I am going to pay in my own life and person debts they made? What for?—

    —For our freedom—said Davin.

    —No honourable and sincere man—said Stephen—has given up to you his life and his youth and his affections from the days of Tone to those of Parnell, but you sold him to the enemy or failed him in need or reviled him and left him for another. And you invite me to be one of you. I’d see you damned first.—

    —They died for their ideals, Stevie—said Davin.—Our day will come yet, believe me.—

    Stephen, following his own thought, was silent for an instant.

    —The soul is born—he said vaguely—first in those moments I told you of. It has a slow and dark birth, more mysterious than the birth of the body. When the soul of a man is born in this country there are nets flung at it to hold it back from flight. You talk to me of nationality, language, religion. I shall try to fly by those nets.—

    Davin knocked the ashes from his pipe.

    —Too deep for me, Stevie—he said.—But a man’s country comes first. Ireland first, Stevie. You can be a poet or a mystic after.—

    —Do you know what Ireland is?—asked Stephen with cold violence.— Ireland is the old sow that eats her farrow.—”

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Dixie,

    Do you accept that the British account is contemporaneous (and Duddy’s notes thus cannot be read in isolation) and that phone call number 4 [which the OP writer ignored earlier ignored] is an accurate account?

    If so, ,then if London/Thatcher had on Sunday afternoon not yet decided on what they were going to offer the prisoners how then could Morrison be telling the hunger strikers and McFarlane what Richard describes as a deal which contained “the underlying substance of our demands”?

  • Dec

    . At the end of the visit the family gives the medical staff firm instructions that he be allowed to die. Shocking behaviour even without the officer’s evidence. ‘

    Jimmy

    They gave no such instruction and you know that. Ray McCreesh went back on hunger strike and the family solicitor released a statement imploring Thatcher to help end the strike. What’s shocking is some internet warriors jumping on a 30 year old black propaganda exercise they hadn’t come across before and attempting to demonise an entire family. Didn’t work then, won’t work now.

  • Dec

    Should say: ‘Ray McCreesh maintained his hunger strike.’

  • Dixie Elliott

    Ah Pat that phone call. You cling to it like a drowning man to a lifebelt…

    The documents further confirm that Duddy’s notes were exact. However we also have, as I pointed out various other sources like the comms from Ten Men Dead and most importantly the changing narrative of Danny, Bik and others…

    You said…

    “If so, ,then if London/Thatcher had on Sunday afternoon not yet decided on what they were going to offer the prisoners how then could Morrison be telling the hunger strikers and McFarlane what Richard describes as a deal which contained “the underlying substance of our demands”?

    The ‘deal’ smokescreen again…Offer Pat it was an offer…

    Anyway perhaps Morrison should be telling us what he was telling the Hunger Strikers. He’s the man who several times refered to an offer yet now says there was none.

    As usual Pat you just cannot answer one thing I put to you, while I’ve answered this phonecall of yours several times only to hear a prerecorded message each time in reply.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Dixie,

    the only person clinging here is yourself, to the narrative of SOON, who was at the time encouraging the British to be hardline. Be careful there, we don’t know where that will take you.

    As it is in his book, (pages 175-179) O’Rawe claims that Morrison brought a message in from the British government, a message which amounted to a ‘deal’; that he confided the details of this ‘deal’ to Bik McFarlane who, upon his return to his cell that Sunday night, wrote down the details and sent it to O’Rawe.
    This is what O’Rawe says: “I tried to be calm as I sat on the mattress, reading and rereading Bik’s comm… In the comm that Bik sent me on his return from the prison hospital, during which he outlined the nature of the contact, he also presented me with a set of British proposals which had emanated from the Mountain Climber [i.e. London]. He asked me to give my opinion on what was on offer from the British. I was amazed at what they were offering.”

    Over four pages he then goes through in infinitesimal details the British government’s response to the prisoners’ five demands, and concludes: “My first reaction was one of astonishment. I read the comm that Bik had sent up over and over again in case I had got it wrong. What I was reading was astounding. It seemed that the underlying substance of our demands was being conceded to us.”

    The Brits had not even sent a proposal through – and did not do so until Monday night!

  • Decimus

    Ray McCreesh went back on hunger strike

    Dec,

    That is the point.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Jeeze Pat!! Did you just waste your time typing that O’Rawe and Bik were looking at a deal/offer/ proposals in order to claim that what they were looking at and what Morrison described as an offer himself wasn’t actually drawn up yet?

    Of course the Brits said they would draft a statement, show it to the prisoners and release it to the press upon it’s acceptance by PIRA.

    Thats what Morrison was doing in the prison Pat…Showing an offer to the prisoners. He said that not I or O’Rawe.

    They had to accept before it was drawn up and released. And from the same documents you cling to, it was PIRA who said it wasn’t enough not the Hunger Strikers.

    They thought it was enough if guaranteed. It would have been guaranteed if PIRA had accepted it by beening released to the press.

    From the same documents Pat…

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Jeez Dixie, I pointed out that the breathless and detailed account of the ‘deal’ written in his book by Richard O’Rawe falls because of the revelations surrounding the 4th phonecall.

    Danny Morrison went into the camp to update the prisoners on the negotations that had been taking place, that is a well established fact.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Ray McCreesh went back on hunger strike

    Dec,

    That is the point.

    I think the argument is that although he was too confused earlier to validly consent to ending the hunger strike, after the visit he was sufficiently lucid to continue it and the family had no input.

    Not in the least desperate. Hard to imagine the mentality of someone prepared to sacrifice a child in return for minor chuckie celebrity.